"America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within."
--Joseph Stalin

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Gingrich For President '08: Is His Baggage Too Heavy?

Will Malven

It appears to this writer that former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich is preparing to run for the Presidency in '08.

The big question: is his personal baggage too much to over-come for him to succeed? I’m talking about the alleged marital infidelity, the alleged hospital break-up with his first wife, his second divorce and third marriage after an extended affair while still married-quite a load to explain to a conservative public; quite a load to explain to people who rated moral issues as the biggest single deciding factor in the last election.

Then there's the matter of the $300,000 penalty assessed against him for alleged questionable activities involving GOPAC and his book deal. I recall that entire circus, and spent a fair amount of time listening to the testimony before the Ethics Committee on C-Span. I personally never was convinced that GOPAC was anything more than what Gingrich represented it to be, nor that any real wrong doing occurred.

Once again it was the appearance of wrong doing (a favorite tool of the Democrats-appearance is sufficient grounds to convict) more than anything else that caused his demise and early retirement from the House Speakership. Certainly there was some questionable decision making (the exact phrase was "intentional or reckless disregard for house rules"), but no crimes were committed, and the ethics committee's fines were disproportionate for the transgressions. The combination of a few shaky Republicans and vindictive Democrats, still smarting from Gingrich's successful pursuit of Democrat Speaker Jim Wright, as well as their outrage at the Republicans having the nerve to wrest control of the House from them (didn’t we know that it was their divine right?) proved to be enough to get him reprimanded and fined.  [Note the term, “reprimanded,” not as is generally stated by Liberals, “censured,” which would have been an entirely different and far more serious matter.]

As to his personal peccadilloes, I must admit I am uncomfortable with that sort of reckless behavior.   It echoes too closely the behavior of Bill “Bubba one” Clinton.  I do believe that it shows a certain lack of self-control.  I also believe that it demonstrates a rather cavalier attitude towards keeping ones word (marriage is a vow, a lifetime commitment).  I realize that this kind of attitude may seem antiquated in this society of quickie marriage and quickie divorce, but I still believe in a man keeping his word.  Is this issue sufficient to disqualify him from being President?  I’m not certain, but I don’t think so. 

My revulsion of Bubba’s personal behavior was an aggregate of his lascivious behavior and his Liberal agenda.  That and the multiplicity of scandals surrounding his administration (White Water, File-gate, Pardon-gate, Kathleen Willey,  Juanita Broaddrick, etc.) conflated to rise to the level of a grotesque mockery of the prestige and honor of the Whitehouse and the Presidency.

The question remains however. Can the Newtster surmount the heat he is sure to receive from his competition? The answer depends entirely upon his ability to bypass the MSM and get his message directly to the voters. Newt has a lot of people out here who think very highly of him.

Be that as it may, he is certain to face a very tough primary campaign from Senators Frist, McCain, and Hagel. He is equally assured of being subjected to hate mongering at least equal to that we witnessed against President Bush during the last election from the Left. Creepy-crawlies like George Soros and Michael Moore (ugh! I can hardly stand to type his name), in concert with their hatchet groups like MoveON.org, Communist Cause, and People for the Highly Questionable Elitist Way will certainly mount a full court press.  We can expect a rousing shout of outrage from DNC commissar Howard Dean and his hit-team (AARRGGHH!).

The reason I am asking these questions, is that I believe Newt Gingrich to be the single most qualified candidate for the office of the President in recent memory. He ought to be ideal for the Liberals who showered President Bush with unjust labels like "Dumbya" and "stupid." There could be no such assault on Mr. Gingrich's intellect. His knowledge of how the system works, or is supposed to work, is equal to that of anyone in government. His familiarity with our historical provenance as a professor of American History and Government gives him a perspective unique among the likely candidates. And since we already know that immoral behavior is “no big deal” for the Left, Gingrich’s morally questionable behavior should actually be a plus for them.  Of course Liberals won't embrace him because Newt believes in limited government, not the Socialist Paternalistic State of the early 20th century of which they dream.

Newt expresses a vision of the future possibilities for this nation that none have come close to matching. Having read his latest book, Winning the Future, I believe it to be a rare example of farsighted and far-reaching policy goals designed to take this nation forward into this new century. Newt's thinking is clear, positive, and thoughtful. His ideas are practical, and achievable. Newt offers a vision of hope for the American people and this nation. As a student of government and of the presidency, he definitely has the "jets" to get the job done. He also has one other thing to offer us, a New Contract With America.

So I find myself back at my original question. Can Newt overcome his negative baggage? As a history professor, he has the oratory skills to convey his message in a clear and concise manner. His skill as a debater is great. He is a true conservative, and well liked by other conservatives who, like me can make allowances for his shortcomings. He would be a leader who, unlike any alternative the Democrats are likely to put up--say "Billary" for example--would not let this nation slip into the doldrums of a U.N. led "world government."

His belief in the rightness of America, her place in history, and her future, would assure us that the evils espoused by the Left, such as the desirability of judges who believe themselves to be legislators, would not come to pass.

Only time will tell us the answer to this big question. Personally, I hope he can do it. It would be a shame to waste such a mind and talent.

Go Newt!  Gingrich for President!  Gingrich in 2008!  Oh! Just Practicing.

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